Category Archives: Unknown to this World

How Often, My Friends?


I know it has been a long time. I have thought many times to come on here and update, but, alas, time has swept away from me. During these past several months, I have been so busy… with life. Too many details to share here, but I would like to let you know that I have been writing quite a bit and have several things I would like to publish on here soon. Poetry, short stories, other musings. It will all be coming soon, so I apologize for the delay in my update.

In other news, I saw some spectacular theater the other night. I saw Othello by Shakespeare at the Pop-Up Globe. I have long been a Shakespeare fan and seeing live productions of his plays is always a good time, but this production of Othello by the Queen’s Company was superb. I absolutely enjoyed it.

I laughed. I cried (really.) I booed and hissed at the villain and cheered for the good guys. I was silenced when the good were murdered and bad exulted. Yet, through all of these emotions within 2.5 hours, I found myself looking into a mirror of today’s world. How relevant Shakespeare’s plays are in modern life!

Jealousy, envy, doubt, division, racism, sexism, drunkenness, deception, love, betrayal, trust… Every theme, every emotion played a part not just in the play I saw but in the world I live in. Perhaps that is what Shakespeare wanted to convey to his audience in his more serious productions: the ugliness of humanity.

Of course there is beauty and passion and art in humanity, but we sometimes try to cover our hideous nature with that of something better (or fake). I believe, however, that we must look at the ugliness of ourselves sometimes and Othello does this beautifully by gradually taking its audience from the beauty into the ugly, from the light into the darkness, from love into hatred. It is so gradual, in fact, that it is not until the second half that you realize the underlying doom is slowly sinking into your heart.

That is what made and still makes Othello amazing and relevant today. How often does this happen to us in our own lives? How often do we listen to someone else’s opinion and it slowly turns into our own? How often do we go through life and never realize the despair engulfing us until it’s almost too late? How often do we believe the darkness over the light and trust the inherent bad in others rather than accepting that some are simply good?

How often, my friends? How often is too often? How often is enough?


Best of You


“I’ve got another confession my friend, I’m no fool. I’m getting tired of starting again somewhere new.”*

How often have I heard or seen someone tired of starting again? How many times have I heard of a friend unhappy in a relationship or lack thereof?

In a world where we rely on technology and people to show us how to live our lives, is it any wonder so many are unhappy? We turn and look at the person next to us, comparing what they have with what we’ve got, and then we turn and look at our smartphone to see what the world has that we do not.

We bury ourselves in things that should make us happy based on others’ thoughts, but does it really? Is that new outfit going to fulfill your heart? Is that late night going to make up for a bad day or just make you temporarily forget? What happens when you wake up and still feel the same?

The truth is that we turn so much that we forget to look straight ahead in a mirror. We forget to look at ourselves. What makes us happy, what gives us enjoyment, what motivates us. The fact is, it isn’t a ‘what’ but a ‘who’. We are our worst enemy and yet we forget that we are our best friend as well. By looking at ourselves in the mirror, perhaps one of those times, we can see who really matters and really see the only person who can change our lives and make us happy.

Every day is filled with choices. Some people have more choices than others, but there are still choices nonetheless. But, you see, there’s another question that bothers me even more.

“Is someone getting the best of you?”*

I think this goes beyond making our own happiness, because in so many instances we choose to make ourselves unhappy. We choose a path that leads somewhere we feel more certain about, rather than leaving the path and going on our own into an adventure. Perhaps some people are not naturally adventurous, but why do we consistently choose a path that we already know doesn’t make us happy? Maybe we aren’t unhappy, but true happiness, not a life of complaining and daydreaming of something else, is what we really wish for. Has happiness really become so unbelievable for some people that they would rather wake up ‘okay’ each day? Isn’t there more to this short life on earth?

So this is for all of my friends who are searching and losing and who are frustrated and feel unloved. This is for you, who think it’s ‘good enough’. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t and it isn’t working. Look in the mirror. You are beautiful. You are unique. You. Only you.

Only you can know your heart. Only you can know your happiness. Only you can know what is the best of you.

The best of you. That part of you that gives someone a light in their eye, that shines from you when you walk into a room, that makes others want to know, ‘What makes that person so different?’ The best of you.

Only you know what that is and only you can give the best of you away. If someone does have the best of you, then hold onto that thought and let it fill you with happiness. Don’t take it for granted. If not, then you’ve answered your long list of questions. Go and be you. No one else can. There is only one of you.

So I will ask again:

“Is someone getting the best of you?”*





*Lyrics by Foo Fighters


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Things I Love About Australia

(more particular, Melbourne)

Last time I wrote about the things I miss about my home country. Now I would like to spend some time on the things that I love about where I currently live.

  1. Relaxed Attitude

I love the mentality that there is more to life than working. Work hours are reasonable (sometimes with a 10am start) and as are lunch breaks. I do not believe in living to work. There is more to life than just paying the bills and I think most Australians have realized this. Perhaps the relaxed attitude can go a bit far (especially in some places, ahem, Northern Queensland), but I think it is better to err on the side of relaxed than the side of stressed.


  1. Café Culture

Oh the coffee! I am a coffee lover and even though my favorite coffee and brewing technique (i.e. Colombian) is not easy to come by, I still enjoy having a cuppa in a café. Melbourne is littered with cafes! One my street alone, there are more than twelve. Twelve! That’s crazy! But I must admit that I love it! I love going to my local café and sitting down to read or write or just watch the birds and people walk by. It is the perfect lazy afternoon. The café culture is so strong here, that when I went to Sydney, nothing compared. There is just something about Melbourne where hundreds of cafes can thrive. Everyone loves their coffee here!

  1. Coastal Living

Need I say more? I am a beach junkie and if I had the choice, I would live in my bathers (i.e. bathing suit). I love how the majority of Australians live on the coast and most cities are built near the shore. This helps the relaxed mindset, I believe, and brings us closer to our natural roots: the ocean. I am not very demanding but I must live near the ocean. It does something for me that nothing else can…


  1. Being a Woman/Mom

I am not a mom, but I am a woman and that means that I am concerned about certain things. Australia is going in the right direction in terms of maternity leave, breastfeeding in public, and an overall attitude about women. Sure, the whole world needs to work on this topic, but Australia is trying, and that is more than some other countries. My biggest congratulations for Australia? Maternity leave. When I realized the difference between here and my home country, I was appalled. 2-3 months compared to 1-2 years? Are you serious?! Is it really so much to ask to be a working mom but still have a good relationship with your baby? (Deep breath.) Enough said.

  1. A Livable City

I live ten minutes from the city centre and yet, I walk out my door to a large park/forest. Melbourne is known as the Garden City and it’s no wonder. There are parks and green spaces everywhere! It’s the best of both worlds, where you can enjoy all that a city can offer with places to still ‘get away from it all’. It is perfect for someone like me, who loves the natural side of things but would still like to go to a concert without driving two hours.


So that’s my top five for Australia (and Melbourne). It is truly a great place to live. No country or city is going to be perfect, I realize that, but realizing the good and bad in everything helps my perspective and things that I value more than others.


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Posted by on February 6, 2016 in Unknown to this World


Being Happy: Part 2

Previously on my blog I mentioned a little about my attitude in life and how I love being happy. There are days, however, when I just don’t want to get out of bed. I’m sure we all experience these times. It could be because of sickness or being overworked or just because. Regardless, I have my dark days as well. They don’t number as high as my happy days, but I do see them occasionally increase as I step out of my bubble and see more of the world.


There are times when something bad happens and you feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope on the horizon, but it is these darkest days that we can shine more brightly. There was time when I just felt hopeless and didn’t know what to do or what was expected of me. I didn’t feel like going to work. I didn’t feel like writing. I didn’t even want a cup of coffee. Even now, writing about this is difficult.

I experienced a touch of anxiety, which I didn’t even know about. I eventually got out of this depressive state and was happy when I did, but the point is that no matter how happy I am or may seem to be, I can still have days where I just don’t feel good.


This may be obvious to many people. ‘Duh! We all have bad days!’ Let me clarify. Hardly anyone ever sees my ‘bad’ days. Why? I honestly don’t know.


Perhaps my own expectations of myself are too high. This happens quite often, though. Many people would rather hold everything in or only feel ‘true’ when they are alone, but it shouldn’t be like this. We should accept that everyone cannot always be the way they are on an average day. We need to see everyone’s high and low and still be there.


Is that true friendship? Maybe. Is that healthy? Probably. Is it needed? Definitely.



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Holey Living

I grew up in a typical Midwest suburban, with a hint of country. It wasn’t uncommon to see huge trucks roll into the school parking lot shortly after a mudding expedition. Girls wore makeup under their trucker hats and most pieces of clothing had holes. I remember even seeing one pair of jeans that was nothing but holes and thinking what a waste of money. I much prefer to let my jeans naturally attain those holes.

Living in a city for the first time in my life, however, I find that wearing worn-out and old clothing is not acceptable. The standards in city living is much higher and people are always looking at what you are wearing, I feel. There are some days, though, I just want to be comfortable and lazy. Today was one of those days.

I put on an old pair of jeans, t-shirt and shoes and headed out the door to run a few errands. My jeans, having several small holes in them already, ripped more as I bent down to tie my shoes. It didn’t bother me and was actually more comfortable with a wider hole in the knee, but when I walked down the street, I could tell people were looking at me.


It was the kind of look that they couldn’t believe I would be wearing something so ragged, yet my confidence was through the roof. I felt like me, not uptight, but relaxed and able to move and run. I felt free.

So why do we wear such constricting clothing? Is it because we think it looks good or is it because others say it looks good? I’ve always thought that confidence is beauty, no matter what you are wearing, and I feel most confident in my jeans and t-shirts.


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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Unknown to this World


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The Land of Nowhere

Sometimes it’s hard to fit in and find close friends in a new country. Then other times it’s hard to find friends from your own country. All of this friend-finding leaves you with the feeling that no one quite understands you. At least that is how I feel.

I spent most of my life trying to understand why I was so different. My morals, my religion, my standards, my humor, my thoughts. I accepted myself as weird and I loved who I was, but I always wanted at least one person to understand 100% of me. That was a hefty task, I know, but then I met my husband.

He was from a completely different country, culture and language than me, but he felt that he couldn’t truly be himself either. People just didn’t understand him and, yet, there I was, understanding him. For the first time in both of our lives, we found someone who understood 100% of each other. We said we were from Nowhereland.

It was a land where only we belong and we don’t mention it much anymore, until recently it came up again. We have lots of friends, so don’t get me wrong, but most of them only see one side or part of who we are. We aren’t keeping anything secret. It’s just how it is, usually. We are pretty goofy and can also be serious. We love being free but enjoy staying inside some nights. We just ‘get’ each other.

Sometimes I get frustrated not to have such close friends, but then I am reminded of the closest friend I have. It happens with a crooked smile and a shrug of his shoulders before saying, “we are from no where”.


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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in Love, Unknown to this World


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Snail Stepping

Snail Stepping (v):

1. A dance-like way of avoiding crushing snails after heavy rainfall

2. The art of avoiding topics that may offend someone

A few years ago when I lived in Queensland, Australia, the summer season meant humidity and lots of heavy rain showers. Those rain showers brought hundreds of snails out of their tropical homes and onto the hot sidewalks. Normally, it wouldn’t bother me. I’m all for being one with nature, but I’m not exaggerating when I say there were hundreds. The ground was covered in snails, of all sizes, to the point that you couldn’t avoid them. I had to take a deep breath and close my eyes as I heard the crunching beneath my feet. That is how I created the term ‘snail stepping’, because it reminded me of hopscotch or when, as a child, I pretended certain places were lava and I couldn’t touch them. Then, twenty years later, I found myself playing those games once again, but under different (and quite detrimental to the snails) circumstances.

As I thought of this ‘dance’ if you will, it also reminded me of a game we play as adults. This game is more subtle and, if not played right, can cause friendships to end. I am referring to the second definition of the term ‘snail stepping’. I found that, much like those childhood games, there would be moments in conversations with friends, colleagues and complete strangers where I would have to sidestep to another topic or end the conversation altogether to avoid going someplace I would rather avoid or to avoid any embarrassment for other people.

I shall give you an example.

Last week, we took a mini-trip, or paseito in Colombian Spanish, with friends. One of our friends brought another friend, whom we had never met, but we love meeting new people. This person had the same background as all our other friends, which isn’t uncommon. My husband was talking with our friend and this new person, getting to know him, when he mentioned (in context at the time) that multi-cultural relationships do not work. Now, our friend knew that I (from the US) and my husband (from Colombia) had been together for years and was trying to tell his friend that that wasn’t true and he shouldn’t say things like that, but my husband just smiled, knowing that person had no clue about me.

You see, my husband was engaging in the art of snail-stepping, because he wanted to not embarrass the new person. It’s these delicate moments which can turn ugly or even confrontational if you let them, but when engaging in snail-stepping, can avoid the death of a conversation and even, sometimes, a friendship. So, even though I made up this phrase, I think it could be quite useful when referring to these moments and others like them.



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Being Happy: Part 1

A lot of people want to know how I ‘tick’. Why I am the way I am. I am a naturally joyful person with an optimistic outlook on life. In fact, this comic strip typically sums up what people think about me and how I think in general:

Peanuts Comic

Peanuts Comic

I love smiling and being happy and this makes people question my behavior. I find it disheartening sometimes that they do not believe that one person can hold so much happiness, but I believe sharing and showing this natural state of ‘being happy’ helps people who struggle with finding happiness on a day-to-day basis. I feel that if I were down, then I would want to be around someone who was joyous, because I would want to pretend that it is contagious and proximity would give me better chances of catching that person’s happiness.

Happiness is perhaps not a choice for some people, but I like to believe that it is a lifestyle. It’s not always easy being happy and upbeat when such tragic things occur around the world, but I feel like, even with such horrible things, it is still better to live feeling happy than to sit down and be dismal.

Maybe, one day, my funeral will consist of a dance party…

Perhaps all of this is wishful thinking or downright false, but believing is always better, in my mind, than giving up. After all, perhaps happiness is contagious.

Snoopy dance with a leaf


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Amazing Beauty

There are so many projects that I would like to do, such as write a children’s book, write more travel blogs, write a travel itenerary book, write a fictional representation of my love story, etc. So many things I would love to do… I know I can do all these writing ideas, but one step at a time. My characters have been taking up all of my spare time with writing as of now, but I would like to reflect on one of the most beautiful and culturally enriching places I have visited in my life thus far.

Uluru, Australia.

Most people think “it’s just a rock” or “it’s a rock!” depending on if you are a glass half-empty or half-full sort of person. This place really made me appreciate the essence of a small town (again), a constantly changing environment (every sunrise and sunset was different), and the (really) slow way of things.

This was one of my favorite vacations so far and I think it had to do with the spirit of the land. It is sacred to the Aboriginal people, especially the Anangu people who still live in the area and use the land for over 30,000 years. That alone astounds me. Even so, for a place that most people think is just a desert with a giant rock, it offers so much more. The skyline is what I looked at most. The blue hues and white cumulus clouds captivated me. I had never seen a place where the sky changed every hour, every day. The colors were so vibrant and alive, that even though it seemed to be desolate (like a desert is), it felt filled with life.

Perhaps there is not a lot I can say, but just show. If you do ever get the chance to see this beautiful place, my advice is to take your time. We were there for 5 days/4 nights and were afraid it was too long, but by the end we weren’t ready to leave. The solitude, the silence, the warmth… it takes you someplace where you need to be.

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My Book

Pure Blood cover FINAL

Just a friendly reminder that you can download my first book for free here. If you have read it, please make sure to write a review. 🙂 I will post more soon.

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Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Unknown to this World

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